Industry News

MoviePass blocks Red Sparrow to obtain data

MoviePass has removed Jennifer Lawrence blockbuster Red Sparrow from its ticketing inventory in an effort to “better understand member behaviour.”

Those with MoviePass subscriptions that were hoping to see Red Sparrow at the weekend were blocked as the movie was taken off its lists in some regions in the US.

The firm said in a statement: “We are constantly testing all aspects of our service to optimise the model for theatres, distributors and members.

“We occasionally remove some films from our ticketing inventory in some markets for a limited time, similar to how we organically promote films in certain markets to better understand member behaviour. As part of this ongoing testing, we have stepped up our efforts to remind members to always double-check the MoviePass app to confirm that their preferred showtimes and theatres are available for the movie they are planning to see before they leave for the theatre.”

MoviePass has continued to indicate that customer data is a key factor in its business model, with the most recent move supporting such a claim.

The company has frequently publicised its belief that the US box office is now dependent on MoviePass users. In its most recent decision to remove Red Sparrow from its inventory, they can potentially highlight some of that market power.

Last month, MoviePass reported it is selling as many as one in 10 tickets for many movies across US cinemas, according to figures quoted by the firm’s chief executive, Mike Lowe.

By seeing how users respond to the movie not being available, MoviePass will gain information about movie watching habits that others, like studios, could potentially use.

MoviePass recently signed multiple contracts with several Hollywood studios and independent distributors to expand the firm’s revenue sources beyond its base of more than two million subscribers.

The partnerships will explore revenue-generating opportunities through marketing channels and exclusive fan-based events so that studios and distributors can more accurately target spending for advertising, reach the right audiences more effectively and identify the most effective markets.

Image: Jennifer Lawrence Films